Ax Defense

Unarmed, and even armed, ax defense is very difficult. You can’t stop ax blow with bare-arm block. In best case you can deflect it using improvised shields (such suitcase or chair). Using “cape”, as in knife defense , can help by destructing assailant, but not likely to trap ax the same way it can trap a knife. Your tactic in defense against ax should be avoiding blows and, when opportunity presents itself, take control over assailant’s armed hand and wrestle the ax out from him.

It’s important to understand well that ax is not a knife or a stick or a baton. Therefore, blocking techniques developed for defense from those types of weapon aren’t directly applicable for the defense against ax attack. Using Krav Maga intuitive blocking (otherwise effective against knife or stick attack) may result in ax failing out of assailant’s hand and stacking directly into you back. When training ax defense blocks you must to take yourself out of the ax trajectory ether when controlled by assailant or when in a freefall.

The good news is that ax not as agile and concealable weapon as a knife and it’s rarely used in common criminal attacks (other then not so common “crimes of passion”, or in mentally disturbed situations, or suicidal terrorist attacks in the "Middle East style", but even in such cases ax is more the weapon of opportunity, even if pre-planned, then weapon of choice). So, chances of facing ax wading mugger in a street robbery assault are slim.

The other thing is, since ax is not concealable as knife, you should expect to see ax before attack and, since ax more effective on slightly bigger distance then knife, you’ll have more time to react vs. what you have in spontaneous knife attack.